Cancer is always a devastating diagnosis. Especially when it's a child who's suffering.
So in an effort to raise his spirits the town of Baltic gave an 8-year-old a day fit for a king.
From Pre-K to graduation, school offers students many different rites of passage to prepare them for life. But for 8-year-old Joseph Cords, each passing day has become another chance to celebrate the life he has left.
Danea Marie Cords is Joseph's mom. "Joseph was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma in May of 2017. That is a brain tumor. My world shattered. Life changes. It's life-changing. It hurts. He did make it through the first time. He was quite the little trooper, always saying he was never giving up."
"When we were going through chemotherapy and radiation, we were just going to the hospital and just trying to get him better. Afterwards he was doing great and when we found out it came back it was even more devastating." said Joseph's dad, Jason Cords.
Joseph's routine check-ups came back clean for the next 18 months. But on March 12th the scan results were grim: The brain tumor had returned and had spread to his spine.
Danea told us, "He just started crying. He's like, 'mom, i don't wanna go through chemo anymore. I don't wanna go back through treatment.' No kid wants to spend their time in a hospital."
"Today is about giving Joseph an experience that he might not get. It's really just showing him love and support from Baltic, from school and from community. Having all of the elementary get together and give him some memories that he can have with the friends that he loves at school and his teachers." said Regan Lerdal, Joseph's 1st grade teacher.
"Being the prom adviser, I thought, 'what better way?' and luckily our juniors are having their prom on April 27th and they were willing to allow us to use the decorations for their prom. He is positive through this. He is so strong and I give him props for being able to do that." said prom adviser Marissa Whipple.
Joseph's dad Jason says, "Everybody's been coming together and helping us out and it means everything. There's a lot of things that I don't think we'd be able to do ourselves if it wasn't for the community and it's amazing."
"This is amazing what everybody has done. Just giving me the strength to be able to be strong for my son and giving me memories of my son that i'm not gonna get to... have with him." said Joseph's mom Danea.
Joseph told his mom he doesn't want anyone to be sad when his time comes and memories like these will keep him smiling for his remaining days. The road ahead will be tough for the town of Baltic, so their only wish for the family is 'Long Live the King.'